Cannabis. Israel allows export and imagines world champion

Fifteen months they have been waiting for this! Israeli Minister of Health Eli Cohen announced on Wednesday that local cannabis producers will be able to apply for an export license within 30 days for the contracts they have concluded in the meantime. The principle of exporting marijuana ” made in Israel ”had been adopted by Parliament in early 2019.

A dozen farms already produce and supply five processing plants, according to the Ministry of Health. In Israel, medical use of cannabis has been allowed for twenty years and recreational use has been largely decriminalized. Today, 60,000 patients use medical cannabis, or around 25 tonnes per year. But Israel can produce more, much more … and export.

Last January, the agency Reuters reported that Israeli producers, who have started stockpiling, have entered into several contracts with European countries for medical cannabis and with Canada, which in 2018 legalized the recreational cannabis. This is an important step for Israeli industry, which will allow both the expansion of export opportunities and the increase in employment …, said Eli Cohen. Israeli media reports a market of over one billion shekels (270 million euros).

Israeli farms have a favorable climate and dual expertise in agricultural and medical technologies. They are therefore well placed to become world leaders in a rapidly expanding market. But you mustn’t hang around. Last month, neighboring Lebanon became the first Arab country to legalize the cultivation of cannabis in the hopes of easing its struggling economy.

Cannabis producers remain very discreet about the location of their greenhouses and welcome the media there drop by drop. Officially, these are precautions to ward off malicious smokers. Unless the real reason is that a good part of the greenhouses are in the occupied Palestinian territories, in particular in the Jordan Valley, bordering Jordan and which Benjamin Netanyahu intends to annex with the blessing of Donald Trump.

However, last November, the Court of Justice of the European Union validated the requirement of a clear labeling of the products manufactured in the Israeli colonies, which cannot bear the only mention ” Made in Israel ”. Three months earlier, a Canadian federal court had ruled that products made in these settlements, illegal under international law, could not be sold in Canada under the label “Product of Israel”.

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